The shortest answer we can give you to the question is one most people don’t like to hear: it depends. As with many other things in life, coworking has its benefits and, of course, its downsides.
Some key points are speaking for coworking, which will only benefit you if you can use them to your advantage. You see, what might be too expensive for someone else, could be just the right fit for you if you can use the given opportunities to their fullest potential, turning possibilities into reality for your business.
Generally speaking, the typical coworkers are freelancers, students, entrepreneurs, and corporate employees. Not all of them will fit any place offering shared workspaces or other office spaces. To see if you match a coworking space, it’s a good idea to make a bullet point list about what is important to you. What can this specific coworking offer you that other places, such as your living room, a library, or a café, cannot?
5 benefits of coworking workspaces
Community: Networking and Cooperation
Suppose your occupation includes speaking to as many people as you possibly can. More importantly, your income Is directly based on the number of people you contact and land deals with. In that case, you can never do too much networking. Coworking offers you an excellent chance to get out of your room into a world full of opportunities and meet as many possible clients as you can. In a café or a library, people might not welcome a conversation forced upon them while drinking their lattes as you try to pitch them your newest business ideas. Relationships forming in coworking communities don’t happen if you’re sitting in your living room in front of the computer in your pj’s. To make the most of your chances, you have to get out and be around people. In shared offices, you will likely find your peers: They are, just like you, open to meeting new people, sharing experiences, and in the best case, even finding ways for business collaborations.
A working desk already set up for you
Work-life balance has been a hot topic for some time now. If you don’t have a fully set up office in your home, your kitchen counter will quickly fill up with documents. What will you do if you spill your coffee on your contracts because it is physically impossible to organize them? Grabbing some business correspondence instead of paper towels is an effective way to dry them, but not very promising. Jokes aside, if you find yourself overwhelmed by bringing your work home, an office in another building might help you keep your mind at ease (and your documents clean). Different places offer different shared or fixed spaces, but most are equipped with at least the basic setup for an effective working day. Internet, industrial printer, and speedy scanning should make your work more organized, and your processes flow efficiently. Another thing to remember is that an office is always ready to welcome your clients if you need to set up a formal meeting, with no prior cleaning required.
Flexible working stations
Wherever you decide to rent a coworking space or an office, keep in mind that the whole point of remote working is staying on the go and being flexible. Therefore, renting a fixed desk and ending up “having to show up” at the office each day is not the idea behind coworking. Your coworking place should offer you flexible and adjustable plans to accommodate your needs in the best ways. In addition, for businesses that don’t want to commit to long-term leases or can’t come up with the financial means, which occur when setting up an office from the ground, coworking desks and group offices are a ready-to-go option. Corporate clients can profit from these options because it can help their cash flow and make other types of investments accessible.
Fun amenities and benefits
Leaving your home for work already made your world open up for more free time activities than what you would have had if you stayed at home. Even better, if your coworking space is located in an area that offers ways to spend your free time. Renting an office space or becoming a coworking member often comes with some perks and deals for the facilities in the area. Restaurants, cafés, fitness centers, shops, and other fun activities can help you socialize, get in your cardio, and save you some money (even if occasionally you buy one or two more things than necessary).
A place for inspiration
In a world of self-employment, where you are your own boss and have to rely on your skills to self-discipline, it can be helpful to see others who go through the same struggles as you. It can quickly become a habit to downplay your success since you aren’t necessarily part of the traditional hierarchy of a corporation. This makes it harder to see progress. Peers of the same community can lift each other and inspire you to keep working towards the goals you once set for yourself.
If all you need to be successful is a computer and a shirt you can put on quickly before your zoom-call, and if you order in food and cannot be bothered by anyone speaking too loud on their phone, coworking might not be the best option for you and is not worth splurging on. But if you’re someone who can use the benefits mentioned above as a tool to grow your business, save costs and be part of a support system, you might want to set a small budget aside for 1-2 days in an office. Many places offer free trials, so you cannot go wrong by trying it out and making your own experiences.